Report on Proposed acquisition of Dalymount from Bohemian Football Club

 

Almost three years ago we were first approached by the Board of Directors from both Bohemians and Shelbourne Football Clubs. They explained that both clubs were in a very precarious financial position and they sought the City Council’s assistance in trying to put together a plan for survival.

 

These discussions let to the following tentative proposal:

• Dublin City Council to acquire Dalymount Park if Bohemians Football Club could achieve a “deal” on their outstanding debts which were in the region of €5.5 million.

• Shelbourne Football Club to surrender the lease of Tolka Park.

 

If all this happened then Dublin City Council as owners of the property would facilitate both clubs to have their base and home ground at Dalymount Park thus ensuring their future as senior football clubs in Dublin City.

 

It has not been possible to reach agreement with Shelbourne Football Club and we are now proposing to acquire Dalymount Park from Bohemians Football Club and the overall transaction and future plans will not include Shelbourne.

 

Such an acquisition has now been agreed in principle with Bohemians Football Club and they have reached agreement with their main creditors. The purchase price agreed (subject to Contract etc) is €3.8 million (three million and eight hundred thousand euro).

 

The future plans for Dalymount Park will be:-

 

• The stadium/property will be wholly owned by Dublin City Council and we will develop a Municipal Sports Centre on the site (emphasis on soccer)

• We will facilitate Bohemians FC. to continue playing their home matches at Dalymount Park and to have their headquarters there.

• We will in consultation with the Football Association of Ireland and Bohemians F.C. prepare a comprehensive redevelopment plan for the stadium and the pitch, and seek government funding to implement it as soon as possible.

• City Council will consult with the community, the local schools, local junior soccer clubs, Dublin Institute of Technology and all other stakeholders/interests in developing future plans and activities for Dalymount Park.

 

The major benefits arising from Dublin City Council becoming owners of this property are:

• Retention of a stadium that has hosted football matches since 1901 and ensuring the survival of Bohemians FC which has existed since 1890.

• Retention of a stadium that hosted international football from 1924 to 1990 a total of 66 years.

• Retention of a stadium that has been graced by the best footballers of their time if not ever.

• Retention of a stadium that the vast majority of football supporters have attended at some stage.

• Retention of a stadium that has hosted major musical events.

• Retention of a stadium that has played a large part in the Cultural, Social and indeed political history of Ireland.

 

The stadium, in the future could be used for community purposes, assisting the adjacent schools, and local soccer clubs in the area and consideration will be given for the development of a soccer museum at the site.

 

The retention in public ownership of Dalymount Park and the development of a Municipal Sports Centre is fully consistent with the Phibsboro Local Area Plan (L.A.P.).

 

There are opportunities also at the site for some private development which could result in some of this investment (acquisition) being fully or partly recouped in the future.

 

We will now work towards the formulation of a comprehensive business plan and consider suitable models for the ongoing management and operation of the Municipal Centre and our relationship with the various stakeholders.

 

It is therefore the intention of the Council to purchase Dalymount Park for the sum of €3.8 million (Subject to Contracts etc).